Federal Drug Crimes
Drug crimes are always serious; however, once the feds get involved, the case requires the skill and dedication of a veteran Boston criminal defense attorney. Too much is on the line to put your future in the hands of a lawyer who doesn’t know what they are doing. If you face a federal drug crime, you need a lawyer who is familiar with the federal process and knows how to effectively tackle these cases. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy has represented clients in federal criminal cases for over 25 years. He has a detailed understanding of the complex procedural and substantive laws governing federal drug laws and aggressively pursues the best resolution in each of his client’s cases.The Difference Between State and Federal Drug Crimes
State and federal law make the possession, sale, possession with intent to deliver and trafficking of drugs illegal. The list of prohibited drugs is almost identical under state and federal law, with the major exception of marijuana. Thus, if you were arrested for a Boston drug crime, you could be charged by the local district attorney in state court or U.S. Attorney in federal court.
Even if a case starts in state court, federal prosecutors can decide to pick up the case at any point. However, the vast majority of drug crimes are prosecuted in state court. Why, then, does the federal government only occasionally bring drug charges?
Technically, the federal government can bring charges in any drug case. However, in practice, this tends to occur when one or more of the following factors are in play:
- Federal law enforcement officers arrested you;
- You were arrested on federal property;
- You are alleged to have transported drugs across state lines;
- Federal prosecutors disagree with the state prosecutors’ handling of the case;
- You were allegedly involved in organized crime;
- Law enforcement claims you possessed a large quantity of drugs; and
- The federal government is trying to target a specific geographical area.
It is not always clear why the federal government brings charges. However, as soon as you learn that you face federal drug charges, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced drug crime defense lawyer.Defending Against Federal Drug Crimes
One of the other major differences between state and federal drug crimes is that federal cases involve more experienced prosecutors who thoroughly investigate a case before bringing charges. As a result, prosecutors often have strong evidence in cases involving federal drug charges. For example, federal prosecutors will often use wiretaps or video surveillance in their investigations, making defending against the allegations challenging. Additionally, these cases often proceed very quickly, as much of the investigation is complete before charges are filed.
Of course, there are defenses to federal drug crimes. For example, regardless of whether state or federal law enforcement officers arrested you, you can argue that they illegally obtained evidence by filing a motion to suppress. Or, in cases involving allegations of a drug conspiracy, you can argue that your participation was minor, incidental, or non-existent. Federal prosecutors are often interested in cooperating with more minor participants in exchange for help securing convictions against the major players in the organization.Punishments in Federal Drug Crimes
Drug cases in federal court carry much more serious penalties than those in state court. In most cases, the judge will use the federal sentencing guidelines to determine your sentence. This requires the judge to consider many factors, some of which require the judge to increase an already severe sentence. Other factors, however, may justify the judge in making a downward departure. Discussing your case with an experienced federal drug crimes attorney is critical in understanding what you are facing and how best to defend against the charges.Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy for Immediate Assistance
If you face federal drug trafficking charges, you need a lawyer who is ready to fight for you. Federal criminal cases are often much more complex, requiring an attorney who is intimately familiar with these particular cases. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy commands an impressive knowledge of federal drug laws that he puts to use in every case he handles. From the moment you speak with Attorney Murphy about your case, you will immediately feel a sense of relief, knowing that you are in good hands. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call (617) 367-0450 today.